The Effect of a Neoprene Knee Sleeve and Knee Ligament Taping On Proprioception for University Level Footballers
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This investigation intended to identify the effect of a neoprene knee sleeve and knee ligament tape on proprioception within male university level footballers. It was hypothesised that the neoprene knee sleeve and knee ligament taping would show a significant difference in joint reproduction ability compared to no external supports. Additionally, a null hypothesis was implemented which suggested there would be no significant difference between the neoprene knee sleeve and knee ligament taping technique. Footballers from the Cardiff Metropolitan University first to fifth teams participated within the study (n=10). The study comprised of a single group, with all participants completing the joint angle reproduction tests under three conditions; control, neoprene knee sleeve and knee ligament tape. The tests were carried out with 7 days between each condition to reduce the learning effect and limit familiarisation. The joint angle reproduction tests were carried out on an isokinetic dynamometer, where the participant was seated and had to actively reproduce three angles; 30°. 45° and 60° of knee flexion. The participant had three attempts at reproducing each target angle, totalling 9 repetitions. From this a mean absolute error score was created from the three attempts at each angle. A combined medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament taping technique was the chosen method of taping for the knee ligament taping condition, whilst the neoprene knee sleeve was a standard ‘off the shelf’ neoprene knee sleeve. Subjects wore shorts and were barefooted, and the dominant leg was the used as the test leg. Mean absolute error scores were analysed using a repeated measures ANOVA to determine if the results were significant. Results of the ANOVA found that there were no significant differences (p< 0.05) between the control condition and the neoprene knee sleeve, or the knee ligament taping conditions. Additionally, a Bonferroni Post-Hoc test was administered to determine whether there was any significance between the two external support methods, however no significant difference was established. Further research into this area should investigate the use of functional proprioceptive testing to test the efficacy of the external knee supports, as well as broadening the subject area to different sports, participation level and gender, to increase the statistical power of the subject area.
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